Governor hosts his final holiday tours
Malloy welcomes guests at mansion all weekend in annual open house
For the final time before he leaves office, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy opened the Governor’s Residence for the annual holiday open house on Friday.
Malloy and First Lady Cathy Malloy will host visitors at the Prospect Avenue mansion for the next two days, with choir groups from area schools and colleges scheduled each day.
“The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year, and Cathy and I love having everyone over for this longstanding Connecticut tradition,” Malloy said. “We look forward to having everyone join us in the holiday spirit.”
On Friday, the halls of the 1909 mansion were decked with long evergreen garlands. In the foyer, garlands filled with pine cones festooned two pillars, and in a sitting room, a garland filled with golden pears trimmed a fireplace.
Dozens of visitors gathered in the foyer to listen to carolers and take photos of the classic Christmas decor.
“I remember a house like this from my grandparents,” Bettina Luhn, 88, who grew up in Cologne, Germany, said. “One gets the feeling immediately that it’s cozy and lived in.”
Decorated Christmas trees were in nearly every room. One was filled with ornaments the Malloy family collected over the years, including a replica of the state capitol and a glass hamburger ornament.
“All of the ornaments belong to Governor Malloy and his family,” tour guide Ann Molod said. “Every year they start decorating after Thanksgiving. It’s a family affair.”
How do I go on a tour?
Just show up. The 109-year-old mansion will be open for tours on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The residence is ADA accessible.
Where is it?
The Georgian Revival-style home is at 990 Prospect Ave. It was originally built at a cost of $337,000 for a Hartford physician, George C.F. Williams. It became the official residence of the governor in 1945, when the state bought it for $39,500. The home was renovated during the administrations of Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. and Gov. John G. Rowland. Under Malloy, the
grounds, public areas and a cottage have been restored.
Dianne Greenier, as “Merry Claus,” greets Helen Fults of Southbury while Norman Ward, as Santa Claus, greets Francine Crystal during the annual holiday open house at the Governor’s Residence in Hartford.